Massachusetts Poised to Target More Offshore Wind

LCG, August 2, 2018--The Massachusetts Legislature approved H4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, on Tuesday that includes: an increase in the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) goals to 35 percent by 2030, a 1,000 MW energy storage goal by 2025, and a path to install an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity. With the current goal of installing 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity, the total offshore wind capacity would be 3,200 MW. The legislation will now be received by the Governor of Massachusetts.

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Pattern Development Completes Power Purchase Agreements for 200 MW Wind Project in New Mexico

LCG, August 1, 2018--Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) yesterday announced it has signed 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) and Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) to deliver wind power from the 200 MW Duran Mesa Wind project currently in development near Corona, New Mexico. SVCE has signed a PPA for 110 MW, and MBCP has signed a PPA for 90 MW.

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Industry News

California Capsule: Statewide Power Blackouts Hit

LCG, May 8, 2001Summer came early to California yesterday as the agency that controls most of the state's power grid ordered rotating customer power outages which affected about 100,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers from one end of the state to the other.

At 4:45 p.m. yesterday, the California Independent System Operator, faced with a 300 megawatt insufficiency of power, directed Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to put their rotating outage programs into effect.

Summer won't officially be here until June 21, but yesterday was the beginning of California's summer of electrical discontent. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news," said Ed Riley, a spokesman for the ISO, "but yeah, this is the start."

"This is probably typical of what we'll see this summer, but I would say this was a less than full experience," said Dick Rosenblum, senior vice president for distribution and transmission with SoCal Ed.

The blackouts affected 54,000 PG&E customers in the central and northern portions of the state, about 34,000 SoCal Ed customers, another 8,600 SDG&E customers and even some customers of municipal utilities serving Pasadena and Vernon in Southern California.

The mainstream media made much of the fact that three nuclear reactors, two of them in California and one in Arizona, were shut down. But those reactors were not suddenly shut down yesterday. Unit 2 of Diablo Canyon was taken off line for refueling on April 28, a date planned a year and a half in advance. San Onofre Unit 3 has been shut down for repairs since February 3, and Palo Verde Unit 1 began refueling on March 31.

Those three units represent more than 3,000 megawatts of power, and Diablo Canyon and Palo Verde should be back in business this month.

  • California Gov. Gray Davis has not yet called off tomorrow's meeting with the chief executives of power producers he blames for the state's problems, but he might as well. No one will show up. Still, Davis knows exactly what he would say if he had an audience.
    "I'm going ask these generators, who have made more money than God sucking money out of California and taking it back to Texas and other Southwest states, to reduce the cost of power for this summer, and to reduce the claims they have on us for money the utilities owe," he said.
    But he'll be talking to an empty room. In declining the governor's invitation, Stephen Bergstrom, president and chief operating officer of Dynegy Inc. of Houston, wrote "We are greatly disturbed by the increasingly virulent rhetoric that is coming from Sacramento."
    At least one Californian is embarrassed by it, too.

  • The state Assembly yesterday passed the governor's bond issue that will provide funds for the California Department of Water Resources to buy power. That would be the $10 billion bond issue broached earlier this year, which last week had grown first to $12.4 billion and then $12.5 billion. Yesterday, it topped out at $13.4 billion. Don't blame Californians for the way they vote they are faced with moving targets.
    The vote was 49-29 in favor of the measure, shy of the two-thirds majority needed to make the legislation effective immediately. The bill will now have to wait 90 days after the special legislative session ends to take effect. It will also need approval in the state Senate, which is a foregone conclusion.

  • Davis' plan to have the state acquire the transmission assets of SoCal Ed for $2.76 billion seemed to be foundering yesterday when a key Democrat state senator the governor was depending on to carry the legislation backed away from it. A spokeswoman for Sen. Don Perata of Oakland said "He has been approached and he is not going to do it." Many other key Democrats have expressed reservations, including state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton of San Francisco and Debra Bowen, chairwoman of the state Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.
    But Davis is still firmly behind his own idea, and is expanding on it even as others prepare to bury the scheme. Yesterday, he told a Los Angeles news conference that he would soon announce a deal to acquire the transmission assets of SDG&E. "I believe we are very, very close" to a deal, the governor said.

  • San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales confirmed yesterday that he is dropping his opposition to the 600 megawatt power plant hometown company Calpine Corp. wants to build in a rural section south of the city. The San Jose Mercury-News said the mayor's about face on the Metcalf Energy Center was not surprising. The paper quoted Silicon Valley political consultant Rich Robinson as saying "The mayor is up for re-election and facing three months of blackouts and an energy crisis he is trying to dig himself out from under."

  • The California state Senate yesterday approved legislation which would, in effect, put a cap on wholesale power prices in the state. The measure would impose a 100 percent "windfall profits" tax on any power sold for more than $80 per megawatt-hour. "Obviously, the best way to enact a rate cap is for (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to do its job," said state Sen. Jack Scott, a Southern California Democrat. "We're faced, as the state of California, faced with solving the problem ourselves."
    "We ought to be laying out the welcome mat for these power generators. What we're laying down is a spike pad," harrumphed state Sen. Ray Haynes, a Riverside Republican.

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